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EU phase-out of metam to start next year

The European Commission has instructed EU member states to withdraw approvals of the fumigant, metam, by January 13th 2010, with a further year to use up stocks. The move follows an agreement by EU Ministers to allow an extended 18-month phase-out period from the date of the decision not to re-register the active ingredient ( Agrow No 572, p 9). In a further reflection of Ministers' concerns over the lack of alternatives, certain uses have been permitted to continue until December 31st 2014. They cover specific vegetable and fruit crops for 15 member states. Such uses are conditional on member states imposing suitable risk mitigation methods, recording the annual amounts of metam used, and establishing action plans to seek alternative products. The full list of permitted uses is given on the EU Official Journal website at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:196:0022:0026:EN:PDF.

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